Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT convened Turkish Ambassadors who are in Turkey for the 11th Conference of Ambassadors at a breakfast at the GNAT.
Şentop expressed his pleasure to be hosting the Ambassadors at the GNAT stating, “This meeting, which takes place at our august Parliament that is the headquarters of the nation’s will of freedom raised in a dark period when our enemies wanted to occupy and acquire our lands 100 years ago, is meaningful, important and precious.”
Şentop wished that Allah would mercy on firstly, Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s and his comrades’ souls who initiated the War of Independence and encouraged the will of freedom and also veterans’ and martyrs’ souls who died for the survival of the state, “What we have been going through as a nation for the past two centuries is the history of our efforts to survive and pursue our claims in a complicated region despite fragile balances and continuous attacks. During this time period, our diplomats have been among the staff who have strived the most for the conflicts to end for the benefit of our nation and state.”
Şentop wished that Allah would mercy on Osman Köse’s soul who was martyred in an armed attack in Erbil, Iraq and all the martyred diplomats’ souls.
Şentop indicated that the past two centuries have been difficult in every way and within the first half of this period, large reforms have been made in order to transition from a conventional emperorship to a modern state and that this transition was carried out in a conjuncture where the state and the nation were exposed to attacks on all hands.
Şentop reminded that the reform period which lasted almost 100 years where the states’ foundation was laid in an institutional meaning was not enough to survive the Ottoman Empire which became history at the end of First World War and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey following the War of Independence, “So, this building where we are hosting you today, is the headquarters of our national struggle that was carried out 100 years ago, which resulted with victory and establishment of our new state.”
Şentop stated that the 20th century will be remembered as one of the darkest and bloodiest periods in the history of mankind.
Şentop expressed that approximately 20 million soldiers have lost their lives during the First World War and reminded that this number increased to 72 million during the Second World War when military and civil losses were added. Şentop pointed out that these wars are the clearest and bloodiest examples of how mankind suffered from destruction while it was advancing technologically.
Şentop indicated that the only reason the 20th century was a dark period for humankind is not wars and their bloody consequences; but rather most people were condemned to starvation, poverty, oppression and marginalization due to the world order established after the Second World War.
Şentop emphasized the fact that the world order established after the Second World War prevailed until recently and stated the following:
“In this order which we can summarize with the concept of cold war, the world was divided between the winners of the Second World War and it was divided into two camps, as NATO and the Warsaw Treaty. In this new order where transitivity was difficult, everything was determined by the leaders of these two pacts, USA and the Soviet Union. International organizations, mainly the United Nations which were established as so to speak, assurances of these divisions were enabling permanency of the status quo. We are all aware of the fact that this international order and these organizations have become subjects to complaints on a global scale. We are regrettably observing the fact that these organizations have been practicing double standards when countries and conflict titles are considered. Our President’s outcry of ‘The world is bigger than five’ rises on this just ground. In this context, it is no longer possible to rule the world with the order and understanding of these organizations which were designed according to the consequences of the Second World War.”
Şentop explained that this bipolar order ended with disintegration of the Soviet Union and with this development, some people have become possessed with optimism:
“People assumed that with the termination of war and conflict environment, sources would be distributed justly among people in need and to education, health and poor communities; that conflicts would be replaced with mutual understanding and multiculturalism, however this dream did not last for long. During the events named as Ruanda Genocide that begun in April 1994 and lasted for 100 days, killing of 800 000 Tutsi and modest Hutus and Bosnian Genocide which lasted from 1992 till the end of 1995, massacre of 300 000 Bosnians showed that a bloodier period was about to begin. The mood of optimism which revealed itself after the Cold War did not just end with ethnic and religious conflicts suppressed by the bipolar world. In the ongoing process, terrorist threat was globalized and even became a practical instument of some actors.
Şentop stated that when history of mankind is considered, we observe that none of the uncertainties were permanent, “There is always the sun which turns night into day and there is always a move which converts uncertainty to order. Because, at the same time, humans are searchers and respondents of generating solutions to issues.”
Şentop pointed out the chaos in the world and instability which was made stable and stated the following:
“This is the world that we live in and the problem we need to find a solution for. As the situation and picture is like that, one should ask where Turkey stands and is headed to. As you may well know, and as you know very well for the sake of your profession, Turkey, in today's world of a steady state of uncertainty in all areas, it stands out as a new and energetic actor who makes moves in regional and global sense. Turkey, who lost 80 percent of its territory during the First World War in the last century as a defeated state and had no say in the new order following the Second World War and who has been trapped into herself during the cold war era emerged stronger and exhibits a more ambitious performance today.
For those who want to see Turkey as only a problem title on the table is not possible to be satisfied for Turkey's demand as a solution partner on the table, and the truth is that Turkey has had a lot of progress and would not give up. As the leading representatives of Turkey who assumed the obligation to advance this new situation I have no doubt that you are the best people who have apprehended this new situation and done what is necessary.”
Şentop who stated that the ambassadors have been representing their country with a supreme effort and sacrifice in a painful and depressed period which Turkey has been going through in the presence of foreign countries and international institutions continued to say that “ You do see that today the world is becoming a dangerous state with conflicts and hostilities that spread to every corner”.
Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT, emphasized the rising extremism, racism, islamophobia and xenophobia among western countries, terrorism that continues to threaten the world regardless of its source and geography, income and sharing injustices, climate crisis, difficulties and injustices in east-west and north-south relations are the most fundamental problems facing the world.
Şentop who emphasized that Turkey has been passing through a challenging and complicating period with respect to foreign policy within an atmosphere that fosters problems and complicates the efforts for a solution continued his words:
"Our attempts to protect our rights and economic interests arising from our sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, the Syrian crisis and its consequent refugee crisis, PKK, PYD / YPG and DAES terrorist organizations nested around our country, injustices and difficulties we face in the face of bilateral relations with the European Union and the United States are the main policy examinations our country has to fight. In the face of these challenging examinations, one of our greatest assurances is that the distinguished members of Foreign Affairs have great equipment and knowledge, know the age and the world in which we live, and rely on institutional and historical heritage of a great state in carrying out their tasks. "
Şentop expressed that he finds it meaningful to fix the theme of the 11th Conference of Ambassadors as "strong diplomacy in the field and at the table" in such a troubled period.
Şentop who told that Turkey’s foreign policy, sensitive to the humanitarian crisis in the world, extending hands to the victims of this crisis and adopting an approach focused on solving those crises through diplomacy, made the following assessment:
"The fact that we are the first in the world in the amount of humanitarian aid per capita and we welcome the most refugees and embrace the people suffering from political and military crises is a concrete sign of this situation. In this way, our country has reached the position of gaining the trust of humanity not only in its region but also globally thanks to its entrepreneurial and humanitarian foreign policy in favor of stability, trust and prosperity. Through your joint efforts, Turkey will continue to exist in every corner of the world in the struggle to solve problems, conflicts and the humanitarian crisis. In this way, we will have the opportunity to continue our efforts for a more peaceful and prosperous life both for humanity in our region and in the world. "
Şentop who expressed that closely following the works of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Parliament will fullfil its part of the task in foreign policy for the benefit of Turkey, continued that: “With a national consciousness, you can be sure that all the political parties and all the deputies will give necessary support. The saying that “You cannot do diplomacy unless the shadow of your power is on the negotiating table” is true and we should know better that Turkey is not one of the cold war, ghetto prisoner country, and will not be confined to their internal contradictions. We are fully aware of our power both regionally and globally and we have three basic criteria in order to put them forward on diplomatic level: protection of our national interests, common good of humankind based on peace and plausibility.”
Turkey is not the name of a country or the name of a geographical area today. Turkey is the name of hope, the name of a lawsuit and humanity move and Turkey is not only our duty but also our motherland. Therefore we have to keep our hopes alive to bring in a move aimed at humanity's common good result and we will glorify the homeland of Turkey and make the future brighter.”
After his speech, Şentop and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu took photos with the ambassadors.